To the Author of the Acrostic, and other Jeux d'Esprit, to Eliza
Oh whence that song, that tender dulcet strain
That seemed to breathe affection’s purest fire,
Hark, hark, its pleasing magic wakes again
Again a master’s finger sweeps the lyre.
Alas, too well that honied voice I know
Where flattering accents won my youthful heart
Ah once to me those magic strains could flow
But now Eliza wakes their tuneful art.
In vain in transposition’s apt disguise
Fearing detection, you your name conceal,
Indignant love with more than mortal eyes
Can unretarded pierce the flimsy veil.
What tho’ they Mary’s pallid cheek forlorn
May not the smile of Cytherea boast,
As pure a smile did once my face adorn,
Ere smiles and happiness with thee were lost.
Say could the fire that fills Eliza’s eyes
Compare with that which in my bosom glows
’Tis coquetry that sparkling glance supplies,
Mine from affection’s purest fountain flows.
Return, return, or from my youthful breast,
I’ll chase the image which I now adore,
Till sweet oblivion gives my sorrows rest,
And thy loved name shall wake a sigh no more.